Saturday, February 11, 2012

How to Reach?

"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved
as to love; for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

I remember first reading this prayer when I was a little girl and memorizing it off of a poster on a wall. Today, when I was in ministry, somehow this prayer that I haven't thought of for so many years; came back to my heart. This prayer is the desire of my heart in my life and in ministry.

Houses in the slum.
Today, as I walked into Petrona's house, it struck me that her and her 5 kids shared a space the size of my bedroom. As we sat down on the few chairs she has, and she started to share her situation; I couldn't help but feel a deep sadness for this woman and her situation. She was telling us how her husband was no longer coming home or bringing money, diapers or food for her and her kids. She started to cry as she told us that rent was due 2 weeks ago and she had nothing to pay it. She doesn't know what to do or where to go. There is no food in the house and her kids are asking her for milk. It is clear that this woman is overwhelmed and as I contemplate what I would do in her situation.......I draw a complete hard to think of someone's situation and already feel the hopelessness that one must feel, especially a mom of five young kids! Her oldest son who is 11 says that he wants to leave school and work to bring money for the family......and....I'm baffled.....Lord, how can I reach and love on this people when they have so much need, but I can't and don't have the power to change their situation. It was hard for me when Hugo asked me to end with a prayer and all I could do was pray to God for the words and ask Him to provide for the needs of this family.

Me holding Petrona's baby.
This morning as I was preparing to teach the youth, I was really just praying to God and asking him to guide me to teach. I had a moment when I stepped back, looked at the context of my ministry and simply didn't know where to start. These youth don't necessarily believe in God, so in my heart I was asking God how to teach youth that may not even believe in the Bible. "Lord, how do I reach them with your word? Lord, give me the words to make this more to them than just me preaching at them, make this a special time, where they are challenged to contemplate you Lord, and see the value in entrusting their lives into your hands. I pray that bit by bit, I will earn their trust and get to know them on a deeper level. Today was a good start, as I prayed, God calmed my heart and filled me with His words. Only three youth arrived today but I took advantage of this and was able to ask them more questions and just get to know them.
Me and Eliezer

It is through these situations when I get overwhelmed that God draws me closer to His heart and His heart for the poor. It is when I step back and feel their pain, that God whispers and says that He is there. It is in these moments of feeling like anything I could do is just a drop in the bucket, that God reminds me of the supernatural, that He is the only one that brings these people through their daily struggles. All He asks of me is to walk with them, talk with them, remind them that God is there, and to pray and encourage. To bring a glimmer of hope in a bleak situation, and to do all I can to help these people, and when there's not much I can do, to remember that there is value in a shoulder to cry on, and in ears that listen, and in the arms that hold.